Saint. Sinner. Partner. Pet Mama. Cook. Gardener. Semi-Trained Church Geek. "Here I blog; I can do no other; God help me."
Soli Deo gloria!
Strange. Aren't those Christians ready to go to heaven and meet their Lord? And if the guard kills a gunman, then they don't have a chance to convert him.Perhaps these are churches in "bad" neighborhoods. Then those churches aren't doing enough outreach to positively affect the neighborhood.I'm finding that this news article has spun a bunch of strange scenarios in my brain.
I'm glad you have the blessing of attending a congregation that is relatively crime-free, others of us however attend congregations in inner-urban locations where muggings, car jackings and vandalisms and assaults go on.
With all due respect, Anonymous -- how is packing heat acting as a Christian witness, and as a foretaste of the Reign of God breaking through into the everyday?First, I'll tell you about a crunchy-granola New England farm family I read about who used to run a Christmas tree lot in New York City. They'd take a small travel trailer into the city and camp out for the weeks that they had their lot. The first year they sold their trees, they were understandably anxious about this adventure. One day though, a rough looking guy from the neighborhood -- from all appearances a drug dealer -- came up to them amid the families busily picking out trees and said, "If anyone gives you any trouble, you tell me." And no one gave them any trouble. The farmer thinks that the neighborhood respected his presence because he was bringing a bit of happiness and goodwill there; they appreciated the fact that he was willing to come to their community and do this. And they appreciated the fact that he was a "little guy" just out trying to make a living, unlike many of the predatory businesses that operate in poor neighborhoods.Secondly: My church may be out in the toolie-weeds, but we are not immune to violence. A couple of years ago a murder was committed in the house just down the road. The community where our church is located is home to a white supremacist movement whose members regularly threaten violence against "n*****s and queers"; my pastor, who's a volunteer firefighter, was attending a medical emergency at the home of one of their big kahunas, and one of the group told my pastor he'd shoot him if he thought he could get away with it; that he'd better watch his back on those quiet back roads. As an "out" lesbian who also travels in those parts, don't think that I don't also live with the knowledge that some of these folks would love to hurt me or even kill me. Does that make me want to have armed guards at my church? No.What does it say in Scripture about not operating from a spirit of fear?
I've posted a link here as part of a general question about Christian self-defense over at my blog.It seems from your post and from your follow up comment, LC, that there is no place for Christian self-defense, either on the personal level or the community level. Am I reading you correctly?
I would say that there's no place for armed defense in the context of a church. That doesn't mean that it's wrong for churches to lock their doors at night or take the sort of everyday precautions that other public entities take in securing their buildings. I think stationing Rambo outside the church door sends a very bizarre message to the world.
You never know, Sly make pack 'em in the house! ;-)
Last I checked Lutherans were not a bunch of Quakers. Move to the inner city, girl, and then you can give your pacifist BS a whirl.
Anonymous: I know people in inner-city churches who don't use armed guards. They have this silly idea that their job is to be light and salt in neighborhoods without a lot of either.
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